Japan to End Gasoline Subsidy Program in Sept.
Tokyo, May 26 (Jiji Press)--Japan's industry ministry said Friday it will end at the end of September a program to provide subsidies to oil distributors to curb sharp rises in pump prices.
Crude oil prices, which soared in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, have largely returned to levels before the introduction of the program, reflecting a decline in demand caused by the global economic slowdown.
The ministry plans to gradually cut the subsidies from June and put an end to the current 6.2-trillion-yen program, which covers not only gasoline but diesel fuel, heating oil, heavy oil and aircraft fuel, on Sept. 30.
But if crude oil prices spike again by the deadline, the ministry may seek a fresh budget allocation to continue to provide the subsidies, people familiar with the matter said.
Starting out as a temporary measure in January 2022, the program was initially supposed to run until the end of March. But the government extended the program and increased the assistance amount.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]